Around half (52 per cent) of business owners had concerns for the long-term survival of their business if trade doesn’t pick up quickly enough, according to the Small Business Recovery survey commissioned by American Express.
The research found that 52 per cent of shoppers said they were concerned for their safety, and 80 per cent said businesses need to implement safety measures such as sanitisers and distance markers for them to feel safe.
Further, only a third (33 per cent) of shoppers said they felt at ease to return to brick-and-mortar stores, while 22 per cent will only do so once COVID-19 cases get down to zero in their state. Another 15 per cent said only when no cases exist nationwide.
“State restrictions are easing and it’s encouraging to see the progress we’re making as a country,” said American Express Australia managing director Corrina Davison.
“While people are starting to head out again, small businesses still face the challenge of getting customers to return at the levels they need.”
Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell said there’s no doubt there has never been a tougher time to be in business.
“While it’s encouraging to see so many small businesses confident they can survive this crisis, they will face enormous challenges over the coming months as they work to get back on their feet,” Ms Carnell said.
“What small businesses need right now is our support. The best way to do that is by visiting your local small businesses or shopping online for local products and services. Every dollar spent not only goes to that small business, but to the community as well.”